Amnesty welcomes UK Government abortion funding for women from Northern Ireland

Les Allamby of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission speaks to the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast

Les Allamby of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission speaks to the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast

Now terminations in Northern Ireland are only permitted if there is a serious risk to the women's life or health.

Abortion has been legal in most of the United Kingdom since 1967, but the law explicitly excluded Northern Ireland, where it remains criminalized except when the health or life of the woman is at grave risk - denying thousands of women their reproductive rights.

It said the complex moral and religious questions behind the issue should be determined by a legislature.

In a landmark ruling in 2015, Belfast's High Court found that the laws breached the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to provide exceptions in cases of fatal foetal abnormality or sexual crime.

A spokesperson for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) expressed the organisation's disappointment at this morning's ruling in Northern Ireland, telling The Debrief 'bpas is very disappointed with this ruling, which could have paved the way for a small number of women in extremely desperate circumstances to obtain abortion care at home in Northern Ireland.

The Abortion Act that legalised abortion in Great Britain up to 24 weeks has not been extended to Northern Ireland, where abortions are only performed in specific medical cases.

Labour MP Stella Creasy challenged the Government with the amendment, which goes against DUP stance for Northern Ireland where there are some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

Trump invites Ireland's new leader to WH for St. Pat's Day
Donald Trump and Irish premier Leo Varadkar say they are both looking forward to meeting in person next March in Washington . Varadkar said that he will raise issues such as climate change, LGBT rights, and immigrant rights on a future US visit.

The UK government is obliged to protect the right of women and girls throughout all of the UK to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy.

In a separate development, three appeal court judges in Belfast ruled on Thursday that the responsibility for any changes to Northern Ireland's strict anti-abortion laws rested with the devolved government at Stormont, and not the courts.

Bernadette Smyth concluded, "While Precious Life maintain that taxpayer's money should not be used to pay for the killing of any unborn child, we reiterate even more so that taxpayer's money should not be used to fund NHS abortions for women from Northern Ireland where abortion is a criminal offence".

Previously, those from Northern Ireland were required to pay for the procedure, but at a ruling in the House Of Commons today, that payment requirement is to be revoked. They have been treated as second-class citizens for too long.

Speaking in the Commons, Mrs Miller said: "When will the Government be making a statement on access to abortion in Northern Ireland?"

A vote to give free abortions to Northern Irish women poses a threat to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May because it risks turning Democratic Unionist lawmakers against her on the same week the religiously conservative party agreed to prop her up in Parliament.

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